Eco Art

Today I was looking through the website www.ctgreenscence.com and came across an Eco Art Exhibition at Eastern Connecticut State University. It is a collaboration of eight artists who transformed recycled materials into works of art. The description points out that ” the common thread in this exhibit is the art’s ability to function as gentle forms of ‘protest’ art, what we interpret as beautifully packaged political statements.”

I wanted to post this because I am already thinking about plans for Earth Day and this would be a great idea to “put in the back pocket” until the event planning actually begins. I encourage each of you to look around your community from time to time and take note of future project possibilities. In some cases planning this far in advance can really pay off.

My regret lately is that I didn’t plan an event like this prior to the holidays. I read a statisitc last week that said between Halloween and New Year’s, we throw away over 900,000 tons of garbage each week! This includes packages from food, decorations, dinner party tableware, and wrapping paper. Yikes!

Check back next week for my post on specific eco-friendly ideas that decrease the burden on mother earth.

How to inspire the resistant, AKA my roommates

On the very first day that I moved into my new house in Virgina, I was warmly welcomed by one of my lovely roommates proclaiming that he didn’t believe in recycling. I asked, “How does recycling work in Virginia?” he promptly responded, “I don’t know, but there won’t be any recycling in this house.” Now, I am from one of the most community-based, liberal, Eco-conscious towns in not just Oregon, but probably the US too. I don’t think the idea of not recycling has ever really crossed my mind, much less being outright against it. So after a little more discussion I found that my roommate believed that it costs more to recycle then to make things from our remaining natural resources or synthetically.

That was two months ago. I have yet to convince my two male roommates to recycle, so I spend my evenings letting my crazy environmentalist inner bag lady come out by going through the recycling pulling out trash, and going through the trash pulling out the recycling. It is so mind boggling to me that recycling wouldn’t be innate.

So, how can I inspire my roommates without sounding like I am critizing them for their lifestyle? It is a hard task. I don’t want to sound like their mother complaining all the time. But how can I resist when they don’t fill up the ice trays but put them back in the freezer empty? Or when their dishes sit in the sink and stink up the kitchen expecting someone else, me, to scrub them? Or when they take 30 minute showers? Or when they throw their cans and bottles in the trash?

It is a delicate balance between just living with someone and being friendly too. I know that I use the least amount of energy and water yet I pay for a quarter of it all. This is when I start to think that it would be so much easier to just live on my own. It would be so nice to know that how I live is directly proportional to how much my bills are.

Learning to live with total stangers has been a chore. But I am starting to learn a little more about give and take. I have yet to have a moment with all my roommates at the same time, but my idea is to do a trade off for recycling. I am willing to sweep one a week, or keep the kitchen counters clean. I am open to suggestions.

Have any of you ever had roommate or even family problems trying to convince them to be more environmentally friendly? Any advice is warmly welcomed!!

Special Report

I read this ariticle and just had to share it…..

How our economy is killing the Earth

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg20026786.000-special-report-how-the-economy-is-killing-the-earth.html

This is a pivotal topic. Any comments?

Another movie that might set back efforts to end puppy mills

Many of you have probably seen the trailer to the new movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I admit it looks cute, but does anyone recall what happened after the movie 101 Dalmatians? People went crazy and all of a sudden there was a huge push for Dalmatian puppies. Sadly many people don’t realize that there are consequences to purchasing a puppy just because Hollywood creates a spotlight on the purebred pups.

Does anyone think of the mothers and whether or not they have healthy happy homes? Unfortunately the truth has been uncovered by many organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. They have tracked shipment paperwork all the way back to puppy mill operations, where the dogs are money makers, not loving pets. These dogs are kept in horrible conditions and often caged like rabbits. They are barking and running circles in their cages due to boredom and lack of social interaction. The owner’s main goal is to breed each dog every heat cycle year after year in order to make money by selling the puppies to pet stores. To read the facts please visit: http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/get_the_facts_on_puppy_mills

The pet overpopulation crisis is something else to consider. Countless mix breed dogs living in shelters across the nation are much less likely to find homes and their lives are cut much too short only to make room for dozens more. Please educate others about this problem and do not fund commercial breeders by purchasing puppies from pet stores. Consider adopting your next pet from your local humane society and make sure they are spayed or neutered.